“Rates can vary significantly from one insurance company to the next,” he explains. “That makes shopping around a very worthwhile exercise. The best part is you need not wait until your current policy is up for renewal, as the savings could outweigh any cancellation fees.”
People might think they are the victim of mandated rates that are out of their control, but the grid system in Alberta for basic coverage doesn't mean you can't do anything to reduce your car insurance costs. Consumers looking to keep their auto insurance costs in line should consider the following tips:
1. Cast A Wider Net.
Insurance brokers can help you shop for the best rate, but they will only provide quotes from the limited number of companies they represent (usually no more than four or five). “But with over 20 insurance providers in Alberta, the odds that you are getting the lowest rate available right now are pretty slim,” says Wicken. Fortunately, free online comparison services like InsuranceHotline.com give you a quick and easy way to compare rates from multiple insurance providers.
2. Don't Assume Loyalty Discounts Are The Answer.
People mistakenly think if they stay with the same broker or insurance company they're getting the best rate. But if you are not with the lowest cost insurer in the first place, loyalty discounts might obscure the fact that you could get a better rate elsewhere.
3. Ask Your Insurer About All Available Discounts.
Providers offer all sorts of discounts that could help reduce rates – from multi-vehicle/multi-line and retiree discounts to anti-theft, winter tire, student away from home and eco-friendly car discounts.
4. Review Before You Renew.
Come renewal time, a lot of drivers simply pay the premium and move on. However, a regular review of your policy with a licensed insurance professional to check your coverage and ensure your information is up to date can sometimes pay big dividends.
5. Keep A Clean Driving Record.
Building a good driving history that is free of tickets and convictions will help to reduce your rate over time.
“After your mortgage and car payments, your car insurance premiums are one of your biggest expenditures, so taking the time to shop around is worth the investment,” Wicken says. “And if you do go shopping, using online tools to quickly find the lowest rate available from the entire field of insurance companies can save you money and peace of mind.”